Code Words

Pomfret team wows in Texas Instruments' fourth annual TI Codes Contest.


It's happened to all of us. You search something on Google, and suddenly every ad in your Facebook feed is related in some way to that search. "I kept seeing an ad for a contest popping up on my social media and I just ignored it for a while," said Delia Bousquet '24. "Eventually, I decided to click on it and found that it actually looked super interesting."

The ad was for Texas Instruments' fourth annual TI Codes Contest. The challenge: Design a solution that automates or optimizes a process or product related to health, wellness, or medicine. Then use coding and Texas Instruments (TI) technology to build a model of the solution. 

"Selecting this year's contest theme was important because we wanted to allow students to utilize their STEM skills to design solutions that are relevant to them and impacting their teenage lives now," said Peter Balyta, president of TI Education Technology. "Fueled by a healthy dose of competition from teams around the country, we are excited to see what health-related ideas students will come up with that can improve lives during and after the pandemic."

Science Teacher Josh Lake and Math Teacher Ellen Browne speak with a student during a recent Engineering Expo in the Dining Hall.

After seeing the ad, Delia Bousquet brought the idea to Josh Lake, who teaches a course called Engineering: Science by Design. Josh enthusiastically agreed to serve as the adult sponsor, and Delia got busy recruiting members to her team.

When the dust had settled, she and her teammates — Lucas Canavan '24, Anna Davis '24, Eevee Gonzalez '24, and Simiao Li '24 — had developed GERM, an automated table cleaning system suitable for regular sanitizing of Pomfret's round dining hall tables. They extended the idea with a telescoping arm, one that could lengthen and shorten programmatically to cover corners of square or rectangular tables.

Among the 100 teams who advanced to the qualifying round, Pomfret ranked in the Top 15 and was invited to compete in the semifinals. They have since received a kit from TI, which includes a graphing calculator, Innovator Hub, software, and several components.

Using the laser cutting and design skills they learned in class this year, the team is now working to build and test their project. Per the contest requirements, they are also shooting a video showcasing their machine in action. Final submissions are due to TI in early June, and the public will vote on their favorite video to determine the winner of the contest.


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